Nagaland chief minister TR Zeliang won the trial of strength on Thursday by getting 59 votes in the 60-member assembly.
The victory has put an end to a month of dissidence drama allegedly engineered by former CM and Lok Sabha member Neiphiu Rio.
“The truth has prevailed,” Zeliang said after the victory, thanking the Election Commission for maintaining status quo on the issue of which faction of the Naga People’s Front (NPF) would be recognised.
He also thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP leadership for their stand on ensuring political stability in the states.
The trust vote that Nagaland governor PB Acharya had summoned was expected to be volatile. Instead, it ended calmly with all legislators – barring the Speaker – casting their votes in Zeliang’s favour.
The voters included eight of Congress who had earlier decided to stay away, as well as four of BJP who had been instructed to abstain in a bid to be neutral.
BJP is a constituent of the Democratic Alliance of Nagaland (DAN) government that has 52 members headed by NPF with 38 legislators. The other constituents are seven independents and one each of NCP and JD-U.
Trouble for Zeliang began almost a month ago after a section of NPF legislators, allegedly backed by Rio, sought a change of leadership and propped up G Kaito Aye as the chief minister candidate.
“Instead of espousing the cause of Nagaland and its people in the Parliament, Rio has been playing tricks to destabilise my government,” Zeliang had told HT earlier this week.
Zeliang had last year secured 52 votes to become the chief minister after Rio resigned to contest the Lok Sabha polls in the hope of getting a cabinet berth in the NDA government.
But Modi snubbed Rio, apparently for his anti-BJP campaign during the Lok Sabha polls despite the alliance. Rio has subsequently been trying to return to Nagaland politics.